- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 26, 2015

There are currently 2,089 billionaires and 16 million millionaires in the world, according to several excruciating studies by the China-based Hurun Report, the Global Wealth Report and Forbes — with several analysts already predicting that the first trillionaire is in the making. Money does not always equal power, however. Compared with the planet’s high-rollers, world leaders are not necessarily cruising in the financial fast lane. Using a variety of data sources ranging from Business Inside to China Daily, Forbes contributor Niall McCarthy now reveals the world leaders with the highest salaries.

Here are the top 10: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ($1.7 million), President Obama ($400,000), Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper ($260,000), German Chancellor Angela Merkel ($234,400), South African President Jacob Zuma ($223,500), British Prime Minister David Cameron ($214,800), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ($202,700), French President Francois Hollande ($194,300), and Russian President Vladimir Putin ($136,000).

“Lee Hsien Loong earned an astonishing $2,856,930 from 2008 to 2012 before taking a 28 percent paycut amid public unhappiness. Today his salary still amounts to $1.7 million. That’s enough to pay the combined annual wage of the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom combined,” says Mr. McCarthy. “President Obama follows a considerable distance behind — his annual salary amounts to $400,000. By international standards, that is still quite high.”

And of course the next question is not “How much do they make?” but “How much are they worth?” A different matter altogether.

TED CRUZ TENDING THE GRASS ROOTS

Sen. Ted Cruz has taken over press coverage for the time being, and appears indefatigable, on-message — and on his way to New Hampshire. But of course. Mr. Cruz arrives Friday to meet with conservative business leaders in Merrimack, then heads to Nashua for the Young America’s Foundation “New England Freedom Conference,” a two-day event that also includes Fox Business News host John Stossel, among others. And refreshing: The charge for students is $20, which includes workshop tuitions, study materials and hotel accommodations.

“New England is an important battleground for conservatives, and students are very excited about our speaker lineup,” Ron Robinson, the foundation’s president, tells Inside the Beltway. “This conference will give these young activists the ideas they need to persuade their peers, stand up to their left-leaning professors, and revitalize American freedom.”

But wait, there’s more for Mr. Cruz. He’s due later in the weekend at a brunch hosted by the Rockingham County Republican Committee and the Seacoast Republican Women at a country club in Greenland.

THE LONE STAR EFFECT

“Sen. Ted Cruz is the 13th Texan to seek the presidency in state history and his 2016 campaign marks the 14th cycle out of the last 16 in which a Texan has explored a presidential bid,” declares Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor and founder of the research group Smart Politics.

This all got started when then-Gov. Sam Houston ran for president in 1860, he says. Other recent Texas notables with White House aspirations: Lyndon Johnson, Lloyd Bentsen, George H.W. Bush, John Connally, Ross Perot, Ron Paul, Phil Gramm, George W. Bush and Rick Perry. And while Mr. Cruz was the first 2016 hopeful to declare his intentions, Mr. Perry was the last candidate to enter the 2012 field, in mid-August 2011, the fact-minded professor continues.

“That strategy did not work out well for Perry, who, though well-funded, at times seemed unprepared for the intense debate schedule in which he was soon immersed. With his early entrance, Cruz obviously also hopes to get out in front in the fundraising game,” Mr. Ostermeier notes. “Cruz and Perry may both end up running for president this cycle, continuing an ever-growing list of Texans who have sought the White House.”

TURN IT ON

Environmentalists call for humanity to turn off their lights on Saturday and renounce technology, all in the name of Earth Hour.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute counters with Human Achievement Hour, otherwise known as HAH. The nonprofit public policy group advises the public to turn on the lights, play music, go online, be happy. And maybe grateful. Organizers advise that their comfy hour pays tribute to human innovations that allow people around the globe to live better, fuller lives.

“Instead of looking to the ‘dark ages,’ as Earth Hour might suggest, Human Achievement Hour promotes the idea that we should be looking to technology and innovation to help solve environmental problems,” the group says. And the hour of choice? 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. wherever you are.

There will be lots of tweeting going on. More on this at CEI.org.

ONE FOR THE UNBORN

One Tennessee Republican was determined to discover how much taxpayer money the federal government gives “abortion advocates.” The Government Accountability Office has responded to Rep. Diane Black’s request for details; she had the support of 70 peers in House and Senate. The groups in question: Planned Parenthood, Population Council, International Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth and Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

“The six organizations spent $481 million in federal funding from Fiscal Years 2010 to 2012, as well as about $1.2 billion in combined federal and state funds under federal health programs that require shared funding. Planned Parenthood Federation of America spent the greatest share of this public funding — approximately $1.5 billion in combined state and federal dollars, or an average of about $500 million each year,” the GAO said in its reply.

“Unborn children have no standing in the Obama administration’s eyes, and the effects of abortion on their mothers is inconsequential,” says Arina Grossu, director of the Family Research Center’s Center for Human Dignity.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Sawyer-Curtis House, built in 1798 in Little Hocking, Ohio. Greek Revival style, four bedrooms, two baths, 2,400 square feet on the Ohio River; original plank wood floors, multiple fireplaces, exposed beams, wainscoting, decorative millwork. Formal living and dining rooms, eat-in kitchen overlooks river. Completely renovated, on National Register of Historic Places; visible evidence as a former Underground Railway stop. Gazebo, sitting porch, three-room studio, two-story garage. Priced at $259,600 through LarryConrathRealty.com; under buyer search listing function, specify property No. 68.

POLL DU JOUR

69 percent of Americans know about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a private email system as secretary of state; 79 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree.

62 percent overall say it was “inappropriate”; 80 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 44 percent of Democrats agree.

49 percent overall say she used the system because it was convenient; 30 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 65 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent overall are “mostly satisfied” with Mrs. Clinton’s explanations; 17 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton was trying to keep information from the public: 62 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 22 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,023 U.S. adults conducted March 21-24.

Arias and choruses to [email protected]


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